LONDON (Brand Republic) - Internet search company Ask Jeeves has warned that the weak online advertising market would lead to higher than expected losses for the fourth quarter.
The announcement comes as the company announced that chief executive Rob Wrubel was stepping down from his post to take on the role of executive vice president of market development.
According to First Call/Thomson Financial, analysts had predicted a net loss of 33 cents a share. Ask Jeeves warned that it expects a net loss of 50 cents a share, or about $18m.
Adam Klein, president of Ask Jeeves, explained the shortfall: "The broad-based economic slowdown has caused weakness in the online advertising market, advertising pricing pressure and a decreased sense of urgency among Fortune 1000 companies to implement their online initiatives.”
Ask Jeeves board member George Battle will become interim chief executive while the company searches for a permanent replacement.
Battle, who was a partner at Andersen Consulting until 1995, said that the company is “reviewing its growth targets for 2001”, but believes that its sold cash position is enough to take it to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2001.